Author's Note: This is just sort of what I came up with after a long period of writer's block- still here really. Anyway, it's all from Rodney's POV. Hope you enjoy.

Summary: I've been waiting a long time for a reason to like myself…

Rating: PG-13 (for language)

Disclaimer: Don't own anything of the Stargate realm… unfortunately.

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Heroes Never Feel Like Heroes

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It was… beautiful. It was such a wonderful piece of technology. I couldn't help but think that when I saw it in the database, when I read what it could do. And how horrible it felt to see that stargate address…

I knew the danger and it was stupid to suggest going anyway. I knew that, I knew the dangers, but god! It seemed- we needed it.

For two weeks, I was a constant annoyance to Elizabeth and Sheppard and it took that long to convince them that we could do it without any one getting injured. It should have been so easy, it should have worked! God, it should have…

A weapon… We were so close! It was right there… we had it… we had the way to stop the Wraith.

So often… too often I stand back, holding a gun that… that feels too large to fit in my hand, as everyone else runs into the fire- into the bullets flying around their heads, letting themselves be my shield. Be my protectors. It's not often enough that I repay them for their bravery… for their deaths…

So many…

I watch them fall and there's nothing I can do to help them. I'm a scientist, I hold the key to saving them sometimes, but they were the ones who so thoughtlessly give up their lives for me…

For a long time… for a long time I never thought that I could be so selfless like them…

I've been waiting a long time for a reason to like myself…

We knew the people of this planet were Wraith worshippers. We knew it- one of our teams had come here before. They'd invited the Wraith upon themselves and barely escaped with their lives. We knew the dangers, but we had a plan. It was foolproof. It should have worked… it should have worked…

We found the device. The people of the city led us to it…

God, it was so much lovelier in person. Pulling it apart, searching inside of it, learning its secrets… I'd taken too much time. Sheppard had pleaded with me to move faster. I didn't listen…

Wraith ships… they're… I hate them. They're lovely from the scientific stand point but… shit, they're fucking scary.

Villagers have a way of doing that to you. Of catching you when you're blindsided. Of suddenly turning on you. These bastards- at least I had expected it from them. I had hoped that they wouldn't have time to figure it out, but I knew that I wouldn't be surprised by their actions had they discovered what we were doing.

Well they did…

It was quite the impression- unnerving sight. Looking up, with guns surrounding you, dark clear skies, and seven hives ships clearly visible hovering above. I think the worst part was the humming- that ugly buzzing of the darts coming after us.

What I remember stops there… Not until they came to save us. They're all so young, so innocent…

I've heard stories about how SG teams back at the SGC would volunteer without being asked, without thought for themselves when SG-1 needed saving. I wondered if the same thing happened back on Atlantis when Elizabeth organized a rescue party. Were they ordered or did they act just as bravely?

It was a shotty escape plan if I'd ever heard of one. But hell, we managed to get off that ship- our team and the two that had come after us. We made it to the jumper and the third team was still alive. But… there was no way out…

God, fuck this is starting to hurt… if only I could move… shit…

Why the hell am I thinking about this?

Shit…

So this is what it feels like to be one of those macho men who run out into danger. Is this what Griffin thought about when he was closing the door, saving my life? Were these Dr. Gaul's thoughts just before he shot himself to let me help Sheppard? Did those young soldiers think about this when they came to save our team?

I don't feel braver. I don't feel like a hero. I stopped those hive ships- damn, that weapon worked. Got six of the seven, but that seventh destroyed the weapon. Fucking shame. Darts are still whizzing around- I hope they made it through the gate. I hope they don't send someone after me… they won't. I told Sheppard not to, but he never listens…

This is really starting to hurt…

It's getting dark- I wonder what time it is?

No… it's… it should be noon… Why is it getting dark?

It's harder to breathe- is there something wrong with the air? No… it just hurts… I can really taste the blood now…

Yeah coughing just makes it really hurt. A lot more blood…

Fuck…

Fuck, fuck, fuck…

What was I thinking? What an idiot. Yeah, McKay… run off and power up some Ancient weapon! Be the fucking hero and destroy six hive ships!

… and get yourself fucking killed. A fucking good way to die- slowly, while losing the ability to breathe, on some damn rock that worships life-sucking aliens.

I want to go home…

It's getting quieter. Darker.

You know, it's really not that bad. Peaceful almost. If only I didn't keep coughing, it wouldn't hurt so much then…

Hmm…

I've been looking for that reason almost my entire life… I can finally say that I like myself… if only it wasn't with my last fucking breath… whatever… I guess it's not that bad of a way to go…